(Can we expect to see t-shirts like this for sale in Hagerstown? Image via @BHarp34.)
Welcome to Harperstown. Where Bryce Harper's at bats will be sponsored by Miss Utility. *ahem*:
“Now batting Bryce Harper, brought to you by Miss Utility, reminding you to call 811 before you dig.”
Not surprisingly, the Hagerstown Suns are excited about the imminent arrival of Bryce Harper to town, but proceeding with caution, according to the Hagerstown Herald-Mail. The Harper Effect (much like the Strasburg Effect last summer) is already being felt since the Nats officially assigned Harper to Hagerstown on Saturday:
"Today has been very busy. We are getting a lot of response. Our ticketing has been really busy. Usually the early season is hard for attendance. We have a ton of games in May and with (Harper) here, it will help push us over the top."
(Suns GM Bill Farley, via Hagerstown Herald-Mail.com, 3/15/2011)
But the Suns haven't started popping the champagne corks -- or printing t-shirts for that matter -- yet:
"We want to make sure he is coming for sure. The merchandising will be huge. Everything has been ordered. We are just waiting to see before putting it in motion."
(Suns GM Bill Farley, via Herald-Mail.com, 3/15/2011)
"It’s all tricky. We are holding back on all of our printing on everything. When he gets on the field here, we will start printing everything to have it ready for the home opener."
(Suns owner Bruce Quinn,, via Herald-Mail.com, 3/15/2011)
The Suns home opener is April 15, but there's a Suns-Senators exhibition game scheduled for April 4th. Will we be able to purchase one of those Harperstown t-shirts on the 4th?
This much we know: they might be holding off on ordering Bryce Harper t-shirts, but there's no time like the present to sell the naming rights to his ABs. Bryce Harper's at bats in Hagerstown will be sponsored by Miss Utility of Maryland and Washington D.C. Here's text of the official press release from Miss Utility, after the jump:
Before Bryce Harper digs in at the plate, Miss Utility will remind fans to call before they dig
HANOVER, Md. (Mar. 16, 2011) – Miss Utility of Maryland and Washington, D.C., the region’s call-before-you-dig center, today announced that it will be the first official sponsor of the Washington Nationals' 2010 first overall draft pick Bryce Harper’s at bats during his stay with the Class-A Hagerstown Suns.
Prior to each of Harper’s at bats, the Hagerstown Suns will announce, “Now batting Bryce Harper, brought to you by Miss Utility, reminding you to call 811 before you dig.” Miss Utility will also receive video board recognition throughout Bryce Harper’s at bats.
“Addressing the fans before Bryce Harper digs in at the plate is a great way to remind those in attendance the importance of contacting Miss Utility before every digging project,” said Matt Ruddo, Director of Marketing, Miss Utility. “We’ve established great partnerships with multiple minor league baseball teams throughout Maryland and we’re excited to add the Hagerstown Suns to that list.”
Failure to contact Miss Utility, which is a free service, is a leading cause for damage to underground utilities. Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs and inconvenient outages. Maryland and District of Columbia residents can contact Miss Utility by calling 811 or at www.missutility.net.
About Miss Utility of Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Miss Utility is the one-call excavation and demolition notification center for Maryland and Washington, D.C. Maryland and D.C. residents should contact Miss Utility two full business days in advance of digging so owner-member utilities can mark the approximate location of their underground facilities with paint or flags.